Data modeling: Description or design?
Data modeling for database creation has generally been considered to be a descriptive process: the real-world is observed and represented in a conceptual model that is then transformed into a logical structure for a database. This is reflected in prescriptive methods and is the dominant assumption in most studies. However, data modeling can also be considered a type of design with negotiable requirements, a creative process, and many workable solutions. Our paper discusses empirical results from almost 500 practitioners on three continents comparing data modeling to design. We found that data modeling, as practiced, was better characterized as design.